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War between authoritarian states and democracy

Posted March. 28, 2023 08:06,   

Updated March. 28, 2023 08:07


In the history of war, there has been a long-standing question: which country would be more advantageous in the event of a war: a democracy or a dictatorship? This question is not easy even for intellectuals pursuing freedom and advancement. War is outside the scope of freedom, reason, and common sense. There is no time for discussion as we charge through bullets.

Democrats of Athens in the fifth century BC during the Persian invasion claimed the power of freedom. Armies consisting of slave-like soldiers mobilized by despots cannot compare with armies that fight on their own will for their families and country. Athens’ victory became the bible for democrats even in modern war.

This claim has a point. How can we then explain how Alexander the Great of Macedonia, a country of despotism, annexed Athens and conquered Persia? The key to victory in Persian Wars, or Greco-Persian Wars, (492–449 BC) did not lie in the confrontation between the free militia and mobilized armies. It was a battle between an army capable of exerting the greatest efficiency in various situations and an army that sacrificed flexibility and adaptability in the war.

In the war in Ukraine, the Russian forces show an example of how rigid armies lack efficiency. On the other hand, Ukraine's armies show how Athens was determined to safeguard their homeland and families.

However, free will should be the freedom that empowers war efficiency and adaptability. If the war situation is not acknowledged, or if the will to guard ideology or political power engulfs the will to safeguard the country or family, it may morph into a force that destroys the country’s war execution capability. In other words, the fragmentation of a nation and an organization according to free will may be even more detrimental than the evils of a rigid organization impacting war execution in an authoritarian state.

From this perspective, Korea has its strengths and weaknesses as a free nation. This should be true for any country, but recently the weaknesses have surfaced to alarmingly high levels. It is time that we should all be aware of this and make efforts to address this.